IPL Tattoo Removal

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) tattoo removal is a similar process to Q-Switched laser tattoo removal, but there are some quite important differences between the two methods. IPL tattoo removal uses a much broader spectrum of light on the affected area, and as such is used in other medical procedures such as hair and blemish removal. The light breaks down the pigments in the tattoo into smaller components, which can then be absorbed into the bloodstream and taken away from the site. The affected area heals itself by producing new skin, and so over time the tattoo fades.

The ideal candidates for IPL tattoo removal are generally white Europeans. Those of African descent, as well as those native to Greece and Italy are particularly susceptible to the permanent loss of skin colour, known as hypo-pigmentation, and are therefore recommended to try a different technique. This method of tattoo removal is also not recommended for individuals who are deeply tanned, or react badly to burns.

As with all tattoo removal techniques, there are certain risks and side effects which need to be considered before undertaking the procedure. Firstly, the chances of scarring are slim, but need to be taken into account when considering this sort of treatment. IPL tattoo removal works most effectively on larger tattoos, as it emits large light pulses which could cause scarring on the skin. Therefore it is not recommended for smaller tattoos, as areas of the skin which are not tattooed may be exposed to the light pulses. Only around 2% of cases result in scarring, and it is not to the same degree as other methods of tattoo removal. The treatment can also cause the affected area to become irritated, and occasionally blisters and scabs can form. However, after one to two weeks these should subside. As with all methods of tattoo removal, there is a risk of skin discolouration where the tattoo ink was, but this can fade over time. The main complaint regarding IPL tattoo removal is the pain of the procedure itself, which many liken to getting the original tattoo. There is also a certain degree of pain and discomfort experienced following the procedure, but again these effects will diminish over time.

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